Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Remembering’ Category

Ten Years

I’ve been reflecting this past month on the events of 10 years ago. It is the anniversary of purchasing our home in the Seattle area.

Time has a way of sneaking up on you, and for me – this journey happened slowly at times and at other times very quickly.

Ten years ago our daughter was 14 and a freshman in high school. Our son was 10 and in the 4th grade. That seems like a lifetime ago when they were that age – and at the time, it seemed as if time moved very slowly.

But in between the swim meets, choir concerts, endless baseball and basketball tournaments we knew these were the best years and we tried to enjoy them and hang on to every minute, knowing that once these days are gone – they are gone.

When 10 years comes and goes it is a funny thing – we say to ourselves and others around us, “What happened??” And we are truly surprised when things don’t stay the same or when we do something and our bodies don’t feel the same as they used to in the “good old days”. I truly do wonder where we got as much energy as we had to be running all the times with kids and their events and I know I couldn’t do it today without paying for it!

As I reflect on yet another Mother’s Day – I realize this is the first one where we are true empty-nester’s – our daughter has been married for the past 2 1/2 years and our son is going to school in Southern California – so it is my first Mother’s Day without him in the area.

But I also think to myself, “Wow – what great well-balanced grown up kids we have! We must have done something right – or maybe they turned out in spite of us – either way I’m thankful and grateful for all of God’s MANY blessings poured out to us in this last decade and the ones before that.

I am looking forward to a great future in this next decade and the ones to follow as God wills it for each of our lives and can’t wait to reflect back on those memories. But mostly I’m learning to live in the moment and enjoy the journey along the way.

Where we’re you 10 years ago?

God Bless

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Faith (George Michaels Style)

Music guitar

Image by doug88888 via Flickr

This is for my daughter – the #1 song on the charts for the year she was born – 1987.

Where were you when you first heard this song?  Are you old enough to remember?

Enjoy and God Bless!

Another Year Of Celebration

Christmas in the post-War United States

Image via Wikipedia

Today is a two-year anniversary for my husband and me.  A very personal anniversary for us that started with an ordinary day – a much-needed phone call and participation in a wedding  – and ended up with a great loss, confusion  and many questions.

Time and distance has put new perspective on many things – including that day.  But sadly, not even the marriage that Greg performed on that fateful day – has lasted. It’s almost like the whole day was fated to just be  ‘one of those days’.

But memories linger anyway – and help us fill in the blanks where we are left to wonder – and left to fill  in the empty silent spots.  This can be dangerous – and not very accurate as I’ve recently found out – but sometimes – this is all we can do.  It is better to take the ‘no harm – no blame’ philosophy – rather than point fingers.  And there’s something about this season of the year – and the cold weather that reminds me once again.

And as the Grinch says to Cindy Lou Who in “The Grinch” – as they are speeding recklessly down the hill, ‘Even if we’re HORRIBLY mangled – there will be NO sad faces at Christmas‘.

And so that is exactly how we feel.  barely escaping being ‘horribly mangled‘ – we have gone on – dealt with loss and misunderstanding – and purposed to be our own people and have our own say in things – even when it was not popular to do so.  We’ve kept our unique perspective – and worked it out – our way.  And we won’t apologize for that.   And the way we look at it now after 2 years is this:   No harm done – lesson learned – and another year to celebrate God‘s goodness, protection and provision in our lives.

And so – here’s to another year of celebration.  We wave goodbye once again to the past, fear, ignorance and denial.  And we warmly embrace goodness, love, forgiveness and truth.

Happy Anniversary to us.  We made it. ♥

God Bless

Dumb is Temporary – But Stupid Is Forever

MakingAFace

Image via Wikipedia

Can you relate?

I sure can.

We all make dumb mistakes – errors that leave us cringing afterward –  But luckily for most of us, they are only temporary lapses of judgment – and easily remedied.  Everyone would agree – dumb is just dumb.

But stupid is forever.  These are the things that have long-term ramifications – and as former pastor Rick Ross used to say, “Stupid is as Stupid does” – it is so true.  Oh you know what I mean.  Those things or habits that we’ve come to know and even ‘cozied’  up to – blindly ignoring all warning signs that say, ‘STOP doing that!!’  It is then that we cross the line from dumb to stupid.

I’ve done everything that I could in the past to prevent me  from going into stupid after visiting dumb  – but I am human and even I have ventured into the scary dark abyss of stupid.  Making friends with stupid is pretty dumb and no one in their right mind would do it.  But I also know that I have done it – I’ve  tasted dumb – and have not been satisfied with it – and so I’ve taken a drink from the ‘stupid kool-aid’ – unaware of the effects of it until much later.  And sadly – sometimes getting rid of stupid takes forever.

Now the only way to combat stupid and stick to just plain dumb – is this:  Don’t ignore the red flags and the little ‘ping’ you get in your stomach when going there.  Be able to stop and run from stupid at a moment’s notice.  And when you are around stupid people – don’t listen to them.  They are usually as changeable as the wind – one minute your best friend – the next your most hated enemy.  And stupid people will always make you feel like the stupid one.  So beware.  They are slick, fast talking, fair weather people – like the leaves on a tree – blowing any direction – with no stability.  Watch out for them – don’t follow their advice or listen to what they say and stay away from people they hang out with – because most likely they’ve been drinking the ‘stupid kool-aid’  too.  Ever tried reasoning with a stupid person?  Yeah right.  It’s impossible.

I will continue to be dumb – because I’m on a journey just like you.  Mistakes and temporary lapses in judgment are part of my journey as an imperfect person.   I also know there is much grace for me that is new every morning, and God’s love has been such a wonderful and reassuring security for my many mess-ups.  Thank you Jesus!  But I have also gone to the stupid level – and know the pain involved with trying to undo it – heal and be reconciled to situations and people and I can tell you first hand – it’s just not worth it – so I will be on guard and aware 24-7. And let’s face it – even if you decide against stupid – stupid will never let you forget. Not ever.

Dumb is temporary – Stupid is Forever

God Bless

Working The Anger Out

"Always write angry letters to your enemi...

Image by Abby Lanes via Flickr

‎”Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them.” – James Fallows

How many times have we done this? I know I have.  More than once.  My own dear husband admits to writing one of these to me a couple of years ago – and never let me read it – and he’s glad – so am I.

Letters written with anger are never restorative. Instead they can do real damage – as the written word is forever.  It is always imprinted on the memory and heart and is a tough thing to move past.

I don’t believe it is a sin to be angry.  Jesus was angry – many times.  He never sinned in anger and asks that we do the same.  There are going to be things that make us angry – it’s just a fact of life.  There are things we can’t understand – things we can’t resolve and the list goes on and on.

I wrote one of these ‘angry’ letters to a friend I had a falling out with – but I’m so glad I never mailed it – or passed it through an email.  The letter was for me alone – part of my healing to just ‘get it out’ on paper and reevaluate what went wrong – and validate me as a person.  Sometimes this is a necessary thing to do.  Once the anger and emotion is passed – often times there is something left in its place.  Perspective and sadness. Sadness for the circumstances – and perspective that time passing brings – taking the punch out of the anger.  Sadness that so much time is lost in the mean time.

I must admit that I don’t get angry very often.  I’m pretty even-tempered – yet I’m passionate about certain things – but usually not angry.  I love people in my life – deeply.  Love my family and friends with a solid love.  I think what really sets me off are ‘half truths’ told about me – or people totally misunderstanding me and passing me off as something that is not even true.  And being helpless to change this opinion.  Another thing that really sets me off is being helpless to change past circumstances that got blown WAY out of proportion.  I am naive enough to believe that adults should be able to get past themselves – truly and totally forgive – to save the relationship – learn from mistakes of the past and be restored in every sense of the word.  My dear husband smiles at me and pats me on the head – like I’m a small child full of innocence and wonder.  And says, ‘Oh Cindy – that is just not the real world’

And so writing letters are for me alone. God is the only one who sees them.  And He is doing a deep work of art – in my heart.  Helping me work out the disappointment, hurt and anger – and stop it before I spew it on others close to me.  I’ve kept a journal for years – and recently I told ‘my story’ as I remember it.  We all have our ‘story’ don’t we?  Mistakes we have made?  Someone that has hurt you?  Something you can’t fix on your own?  Yes – we all do.

Can I be angry and not sin?  That is the challenge for me. Can I still be passionate about wanting change – and not push before people are ready for change?  Can I keep who I am intact – and not lose myself to emotion?  Can I do and feel what is right – and not compromise what I feel God would want me to do?  Follow His leading and direction – rather than what others tell me?  Know myself so well – that it is not a dilemma for me to restore others in love?  These are the questions I struggle with – daily.  And sometimes what I feel God is leading me to do – is not the popular consensus.

My encouragement for you is this:  Write that angry emotional letter – get it all out!  All of it. The feelings and emotions – the being misunderstood – the slander against you – the feelings of betrayal and being wronged.   Imagine taking a walk with that person who has wronged you.  Find a nice place to stop along the road – a nice grassy patch that’s very quiet and peaceful.  Take out the letter and read it out-loud to that person.  Ask them not to interrupt you until you’re done reading it.  This letter will say it all – and you won’t have to depend on your memory – and get lost in emotion – you can just read it.  Imagine that they hear you.  Really hear you. Imagine that they understand – and that they feel sorry for causing you pain – and they accept your apology too.  Imagine the conversation of healing and restoration – even if you have to MAKE IT UP.  Remember – it is for you. It is part of your heart healing – and letting go of the anger.

I have done this – not once – but many times. It is always a restorative conversation.  The anger is no longer there.  I am still writing – and there are days when I have to take that walk with someone again and read a letter – forgive and be forgiven – and have a healing conversation.  There are days when I have to forgive myself all over again.  I wish I could say that all of my relationships have been finally worked out and are restored – back in good daily communication – having put the past behind – but sadly this is not true.  But I still wait in anticipation for God to truly restore and heal – and bring back to me – what was once lost. There must still be lessons for me to learn. Until then – I am still working on me. I am in process – on a long journey.

God Bless

Living In Truth

Family Ties title scene from the third season

Image via Wikipedia

Watched an episode of ‘Family Ties‘ tonight.  We loved that  80’s series when we were a young married couple – and so now we own it on DVD.  It’s still just as fresh and funny to us as it was 25 years ago – great writing.

Tonight the episode was more serious – dealing with a delicate subject about ‘feelings’ and mostly about ‘telling the truth’ about those feelings.  It  was strangely familiar and brought up much dialogue for Greg and me. It was a little like looking into a mirror.  A mirror that I’m not sure I wanted to look in.

I love how in a sitcom – things can be worked out in about 23 minutes – every episode has a problem and a conclusion and all is worked out and everyone feels good about it – problem solved for another day.  This episode was no exception.  It took a very complicated problem and simplified it – and had the people responding correctly to the problem – at the end of the show.   Wouldn’t it be great if real life was as simple – and people responded to things as nicely?

Real life has people coming and going in and out of your life – responding correctly or sometimes incorrectly to stress, hurt, disappointment and setbacks.  We don’t have any control over these things – I know I sometimes wish – Okay – ALL THE TIME I wish I had control over this fact.  But the truth is – that I don’t.  And even years later after some of these events that have taken place in my life – I still have to remind myself of this.  I have no control.  Just over myself.

It’s okay to react – it’s even okay to TOTALLY LOSE it when situations and things come at us.  But the tragedy is when we allow ourselves to stay there – bound up in that reaction – inflicting more pain on ourselves and those around us.  Fear is the motivator behind this – and fear can drive a HUGE wedge of misunderstanding and complications.

There is freedom in truth. It means I don’t have to create so much energy reinventing my version of the truth.  There is no fear in truth.  It is simple and straight forward.  It means freedom.  Freedom from myself – freedom from the lie I am trying so desperately hard to hang onto and make others believe.  It means I can once again join the human race – instead of hiding behind that lie.  I am not afraid – looking over my shoulder all the time – wondering who is going to catch on to my deceit.  And even though it hurts me – and even can damage my reputation – it is still better to live in truth.

I had someone tell me the truth one time when I was going through a really bad time.  She told me what I had always suspected but no one else would tell me – because they were afraid.  She didn’t know me – was a neutral party sent to me to help me sort some things out.  She really heard me and allowed me to express what I needed.  She told me that people don’t tell you the truth because they are afraid.  Afraid of reaction to the truth – and afraid that in speaking the truth  – it will somehow change perspective on things and even give a wrong message of permission. And even change feelings.  But it didn’t – and she knew that it wouldn’t.  Truth will set you free. Truth will validate.  Truth will allow you your dignity and tell you that you aren’t crazy.  It will open up a whole new world in your mind and bring life and closure in the heart for whatever has gone wrong.

We need to speak more ‘truth’ – to each other in love – and to ourselves.  I pray that someone will speak only the truth to you today – and that you will be honest with someone else that needs to hear it.  That you will live peaceably with all men and be settled in your own heart and mind – that you did everything you could to live in truth.

God Bless

My Life Verse

Proverbs 3:5-6

This is my life verse. It has been for as long as I can remember. Although I do not fully grasp its complexities – at the very base of my own simplicity – I accept it.

Even years before I knew God‘s plan for my life – I know He had His hand upon me. I didn’t always make the right choices – and yet He always showed mercy to me. And the only thing that was ever required of me – was to just simply – trust.

Long before things made any sense to me – I still held on to this verse and tried to do as it said – and yet I sometimes failed miserably. It is easier to try to figure things out in a human way – and try to ‘fix’ our circumstances in our own way – without God’s help.

And if I’m really honest – I would have to admit that I didn’t trust that God would ‘do it right’ concerning things in my life – and more importantly – people in my life that I desperately wanted to be there. I did try to do things my own way – several times in my life – and messed it up pretty badly too.

I’ve loved and lost. I’ve been misunderstood and rejected. I’ve ‘leaned on my own understanding’ of situations and been confused and disappointed. I’ve felt helpless in the midst of a friendship gone terribly wrong. I’m human. I’ve cried out to God – and asked the ‘questions’ that all of us ask. “Don’t you care? Don’t you notice that I’m suffering? Can’t you fix this? How long oh Lord? How long?”

My path in front of me is crooked and has many barriers and hindrances in my way.  Walking forward is miserable – especially when I step out on my own.  God promises that when we lean on Him – He will make our crooked paths straight – and He will direct us on that path.  How easy it sounds – how hard it is to do.  I do not see it – until I step out in simple trust.

I’ve been reluctant to step out in complete reckless abandon and ‘trust with my whole heart’ – because in doing so – it means that I no longer have any say in what happens. I have to give up all of my choice – and all of my control – and just – trust.

I am still waiting for a few things. I am a reluctant ‘truster’. I want to. But even though I ‘trust’ in my head – it is hard to let go entirely – when things don’t make any sense to me – and ‘trust’ with all my heart. There are still some ‘crooked’ areas in my path ahead – so I know I haven’t totally surrendered trust yet.  But I’m working on it.  I’m waiting for the crooked path in front of me to straighten out once and for all.

I know and have some limited understanding of the very nature of God – even though it is hard to grasp – He loves me – and wants the very best for me. Why can’t I believe it? Why don’t I always trust it? I don’t know. And I’m ashamed to admit it.

Even now – I wait. I wait for resolution. I wait for truth to win out. I wait for peace in the midst of pain. I still wait. And because I know I will mess up and take back my ‘trusting’ – try again to do it my way – and I will yet again ‘lean on my own understanding’ instead of His – the process will take longer.

I guess I have many more life lessons to learn on this journey of learning to trust. I guess He is not finished teaching me. I am thankful that even though I don’t deserve it – He loves me and He’s not finished with me yet. He cares enough about me and my situations in life – my feelings and emotions – that He is willing to take me on a journey through pain and hard times to bring some understanding of the great things that are brought out of that pain – compassion for others – empathy and softening of my hard, uncaring and selfish heart. He is not unmoved or uncaring – as sometimes it seems to me. There is a right time for everything – and I must simply trust that the right time has not come yet. But it will. And one day I am convinced that I will understand. And there will be some sweet surprises when He is through working behind the scenes in me and in others.

That’s trust. That’s faith. And I am trying to hang on to both. Until that day – when I can see all the reasons – for everything in my life – that’s what I must do.

So each day – I begin again – I take a baby step – a step toward – trust. A baby step toward – leaning. A baby step toward stepping out in faith.  And someday – I will understand – someday – I will really get it.

God Bless

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